Traveling to Oman over the weekend and during public holidays is very common for UAE residents. It usually takes 6-7 hours to get to Muscat proper and a guaranteed scenic road trip will surely put you firmly back in the road trip driving seat.
While I wasn’t really fascinated with Oman, doing a spontaneous road trip is still a no-brainer for me. Along these lines, I quickly packed a small bag with just one extra shirt and a couple of snacks in it, all feeling ready to leave early the next morning. It was initially a day trip but we ended up staying for almost 3 days, it was crazy.
If you wish to know how to cross the border from Dubai to Oman by car, read my post here!
Omanis are well-known for being warm to foreign visitors. They know how to peacefully coexist with different nationals regardless of whether the way of life is not the same as its neighboring nations. What’s more, in spite of the fact that they are winding up more open to other cultures, one is as yet anticipated that would entirely submit to their cultural ways as it stays to be a profoundly customary and conservative country.
I knew I made a huge mistake when I decided to wear shorts.
I feel bad up until now. Never again.
But who would have thought Oman would ensure a fitting celebration of your travel dreams?! It’s home to lush and serene places. From extravagant mosques, friendly locals, fancy coffee shops, beautiful coastlines, to insanely cool locations that get your endorphins all fired up, Oman will surely feed you a true bucket list adventure and give you that perfect opportunity to absorb the incredible Omani landscape.
Hopefully, these photos will inspire you to update your list, and make you discover that is the beautiful gem in the Middle East. Aaahhh! I love exploring new places!
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. It’s huge but I didn’t get to go in due to inappropriate clothing, of course. If you read my Oman guide, I mentioned meeting these two ladies at the border control. And because our GPS wasn’t working properly, we had to follow them all the way to Muscat!
It is with great regret that I didn’t pack swimming clothes. Although it was very hot, the water was so clear that it was so hard to resist. I still didn’t get to swim, though. So, if you are visiting Muscat, a swimming attire is a must! And don’t forget ’em towels, too! The public washroom ain’t that bad and going in the morning is highly recommended as it tends to get really crowded after 11 in the morning.
Before you decide to leave the surrounding area, make sure to drive up a little towards the coastline and be in complete awe of this beauty right here.
From here, we drove for about an hour to reach Wadi Shabi, another well-known for swimming holes in Oman. Parking is free but almost no chance of getting a free spot due to the overwhelming number of cars! Most people that we met did Wadi Shab first prior to the Bimmah Sinkhole. Personally, I don’t know which one is a better route but, surely, both are always done in one day. Note that there is no public transport available around so you really have to have your own car to get around Oman, specifically down the southern part. Otherwise, hiring a car in Dubai is your best bet.
After refueling with some water, we then headed to a boat that got us to the other side for only 1 OMR. This is where the trailhead begins. The hike up the valley was breathtaking, but also EXTREMELY HOT. I swear to God, it was insane. As we walked along the trail, I couldn’t help but be amazed by how beautiful the scenery is. It nearly resembled the Grand Canyon (LOL NO KIDDING). We set aside invigorating dunks from time to time in the pool of water before adventuring upstream. But man, talk about high cliffs and clear blue water. Just. FFFF. Insane.
I honestly couldn’t recall how long exactly it took us to get to the secret cave where a secret waterfall is found. Basically, there’s a tiny little opening about a foot wide and two feet high of air that you have to swim through. It’s the only option, apparently.
All in all, Wadi Shab is the highlight of our trip! Although we heard that Wadi Tiwi is much better but it was too far away and we still had to drive back to Muscat. Nonetheless, Wadi Shab is definitely a stunner! I highly recommend it!
As we started our drive back to Muscat, we realized that we were already behind the schedule and, apparently, Darren was already exhausted driving, crying for a long sleep. So, due to time constraints, we had to look for a hotel to stay over the night. Luckily, we bumped into Emma and Zahra, the two ladies we met at the border, and they mentioned being booked at the Grand Millenium Hotel so we followed them once again and made a walk-in reservation.
Click here to check out our experience and see how stunning the hotel is!
The next day arrived and we took the trip just around Muscat, driving around and exploring.
Royal Opera House Muscat
The Royal Opera House Muscat is Oman’s head setting for musical arts and culture. It is effectively situated in Shati Al-Qurm area of Muscat on Sultan Qaboos Street. It reflects special contemporary Omani design and has an ability to hold a most extreme of 1,100 individuals. It comprises a show theater, assembly hall, social market with retail, expensive restaurants and an art center for musicals and opera shows.
We managed to visit other landmarks in one more full day but, due to my damaged hard drive (I know, I’ve been mentioning this for a million times now), I couldn’t provide you with any photos of them. But here is a list of other locations that we visited:
- Al Jalali Fort
- Al Alam/Sultan’s Palace
- National Museum
- Muscat Gate Museum
- Mutrah Corniche
We ended our trip to Muscat by treating ourselves with some delish food! Oh, God knows how much I’ve been trying to recall the name of this cafe but I just can’t seem to remember a thing! *ugh* Their breakfast meals are served all day and you can just see how these plates are looking so freaking amazing! And don’t get me started with their sweets! The cupcakes are TO DIE FOR!!!
And that, my friends, concludes our spontaneous trip to Muscat!
If you happen to visit Dubai on a short holiday, I highly suggest doing a side trip to Oman. This place won’t disappoint and is just a living proof of how beautiful the Middle East is.
Oman is sure a perfect destination for those who seek thrilling adventures and desire to witness rich cultural heritage.